The Cooperative Research Centres Association is a not-for-profit organisation operating to promote the pursuit of science, particularly through the Australian Government’s CRC Program.

You don’t have to be a CRC to join, find out more about our types of membership and benefits of joining the association.

CRC Programme Review Discussion Paper now Available

The CRC Programme Review Discussion Paper has just been released and is available on the review website. Click here

Responses to the discussion paper can be submitted online via the Department of Industry’s consultation hub and are due by 4pm Tuesday 11 November 2014.

Information sessions

Information sessions are being conducted by the Department of Industry and the review leader, Mr David Miles AM next week in Adelaide 27/10, Melbourne 28/10, Sydney 29/10 and Brisbane 30/10. Please note places are limited to a maximum of two people from each organisation.

This is an opportunity for stakeholders to clarify the discussion questions, provide feedback on particular aspects of the CRC programme and to hear from other stakeholders.

Further information

Further details about the venue and details on how to register to attend can also be found on the review website. For any other questions, please email the review secretariat: crc.review@industry.gov.au

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CRC Association responds to the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda

The Australian Government announced a package of measures yesterday in Canberra aimed at increasing the competitiveness of industry and bringing science and industry closer together.

One of the measures announced – five Industry Growth Centres – has sparked speculation about the future of Cooperative Research Centres. A Review of the CRC Program has recently commenced, further fueling speculation that CRC Program will fold into the new Growth Centres. Minister Macfarlane said at yesterday’s media conference ‘Having CRCs as an adjunct to this simply won’t work. Some CRCs will continue and complete their contracts, some will be folded into this process, and some will terminate.’ The Minister indicated he would await the report of reviewer, David Miles.

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CRC Women of Influence Recognised

Associate Professor Elizabeth Scarr, a Program Leader at the CRC for Mental Health and University of Melbourne, and Ms Amanda Davis, Chief Operating Officer of the Vision CRC, have both been named amongst Australia’s 100 Women of Influence 2014 by Westpac and the Australian Financial Review.

Ms Davis was recognised in the Innovation category for her contribution in delivering improved access to vision care for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and people in developing communities, through her work as leader of the Vision CRC Models of Vision Care Program since 2010.

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Louise Maher chats with Associate Professor Elizabeth Scarr on 666 Afternoons

Round 17 Progress

The CRC for Optimising Resource Extraction has progressed to interview in the 17th CRC Funding Round. The other two applicants: the Vision CRC and CO2 CRC, have not progressed. Round 17 was only available to existing CRCs following the 2014 Federal Budget.

CRC ORE is expected to be interviewed in November and the subsequent announcement made in December. A decision on the Innovative Manufacturing CRC has not yet been announced but is expected soon. IM CRC is the combined bid that resulted from the Advanced Manufacturing CRC rebid in Round 16 and the alternative Manufacturing Industry Innovation CRC bid. This proposal was interviewed several months ago.

The fate of the CRC for Northern Agriculture is not known. A bid was developed in response to the Coalition’s election promise to fund a CRC in the space, but the closure of Round 17 has left the bid in limbo. The bid proponents have continued to develop the proposal but no formal mechanism exists for it to be submitted to government. Towards the end of the previous government, three priority CRCs were funded – each were subject to individual negotiations. Any progress on the Northern CRC is likely to be done in a similar way.

 

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Our time to shine

The Cooperative Research Centres Program will be reviewed by business leader, David Miles AM, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane announced today. The Review was announced on Budget night in May, in line with regular reviews of the CRC Program. Previous reviews have been conducted in 2008 (O’Kane), 2003 (Howard Partners), 1998 (Mercer and Stocker) and 1995 (Myers).

“Now is our time to shine,” said CEO of the CRC Association, Dr. Tony Peacock.

“How many times have you seen calls for closer industry-public research ties; more focussed postgraduate training and greater emphasis on research translation in the past year? It feels like every time prominent industry or science people comment on the Nation’s innovation needs, Cooperative Research Centres tick that box,” said Peacock. “Our job is to show how well CRCs are meeting those needs and help explore how we can contribute even further. We look forward to that opportunity.”

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Alex Sloan chats with Tony Peacock & Ian Chubb, Australia’s Chief Scientist On 666 Afternoons

Chubb’s Recipe – STEM for a Competitive Economy

The Chief Scientist of Australia, Professor Ian Chubb AC, has presented a paper in Canberra today aimed at improving the use of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to boost the nation’s competitiveness.

The paper suggests three areas for action: Australian competitiveness; education and training; research and international engagement.

At the same event, Minister Macfarlane—who has responsibility for science in the government—encouraged scientists to push their agenda. He recognised that science is at the heart of industry policy and indicated several times that the Abbott Government will shortly take measures to address Australia’s “atrocious” business-research collaboration record.

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Cooperative Research Centres “Not Butchered”

On a recent episode of The Business, presenter Ticky Fullerton questioned the Minister for Industry, The Hon. Ian Macfarlane, on “abolishing” the Cooperative Research Centres Program, or at least “butchering it”. Thankfully this is not the situation.

“CRCs are far from abolished” said CRC Association CEO, Dr. Tony Peacock.

“The recent budget cuts hurt, no doubt about it. But we have 36 CRCs working flat out, and a pipeline of new ones in development.”

Minister Macfarlane gave an example of Boeing’s advanced manufacturing earlier in the interview. The CRC for Advanced Composites Structures (CRC-ACS) were integral to that development which has resulted in a $4 billion manufacturing contract over 25 years. The CRC is now working with Airbus on “welding” of composites.

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 Media Release: Align, Focus and Scale

14 August 2014

The CRC Association welcomes comments by Professor Ian Chubb, Chief Scientist of Australia, delivered in last night’s speech, No Free Rides to the Future: Shoring up the Science to Sustain Us, at the University of New South Wales during the Jack Beale Lecture.

Professor Chubb summed up his strategy for Australian science into four main objectives: competitiveness, education and training, research and international engagement.

The Chief Scientist said that Australia can and should “align, focus and scale” its research.

“That’s exactly what Cooperative Research Centres do—align, focus and scale” said Tony Peacock, CEO of the CRC Association. “It’s no coincidence that CRCs performs so well in any measure of research impact, they are designed for this outcome”.

“Bidding for a CRC is a very competitive process” says Tony Peacock “only the best get funded”. “CRCs also place a considerable focus on education and training—producing industry-ready graduates— and are highly collaborative, not only internationally but domestically”.

Information: Tony Peacock, CRC Association
Phone: 02 6273 0624
Email: tpeacock@crca.asn.au Website: www.crca.asn.au

Tony Peacock and Alex Sloan (666 ABC) discuss Data to Decisions CRC with Tim Scully

Australia 2040 Forum

Next year is the 25th Anniversary of the Cooperative Research Centres Program. To celebrate this milestone, the Cooperative Research Centres Association is holding our annual conference in Canberra on 25-27 May 2015.

We are excited to announce Dr. Megan Clark AC, currently CSIRO Chief Executive, will deliver the Ralph Slatyer Address on Science and Society at the welcome function at the Australian War Memorial on 25th May.

The Australia 2040 Forum will be held on 26 May in Australian Parliament House. We will look back 25 years over the achievements of Cooperative Research Centres and 25 years into the future, examining the challenges and opportunities for Australia in the next quarter century. A showcase of CRC achievements and the Excellence in Innovation Awards will be held in the Great Hall that evening. A series of important workshops will be held on the 27th.

If you are interested in supporting the conference contact jordan.gardner@crca.asn.au for sponsorship opportunities.

Mark 25-27 May in your diaries now!

www.Australia2040.com.au

The Longitude Prize – a new (old) way to stimulate innovation

Commentary by Tony Peacock, CRC Association

The British public has voted for antibiotic resistance research to be the subject of the “first” Longitude Prize. The Longitude Prize 2014 is a prize fund of £10 million to tackle one of the biggest issues facing humanity, with the British public voting for antibiotic resistance over the field that also included flight, food, paralysis, water and dementia. The Longitude Prize 2014 commemorates the 300th anniversary of the Longitude Act of 1714, which was eventually awarded in 1765 to John Harrison for his chronometer (as well as sparking many other innovations).

The announcement of the public vote was made live on the BBC by British Prime Minister, David Cameron last month. The award is administered by the innovation charity Nesta, with the prize fund being put up by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board. Lord Rees, the English Astronomer Royal, chairs the Longitude Committee, which is still working out final rules for awarding the prize.

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